Philippine Air in talks with lessors, returning some planes, reports CNN Philippines

MANILA, May 16 (Bloomberg): Philippine Airlines Inc has been in talks with its aircraft lessors about reducing its fleet size and returning some planes as part of a restructuring process, President Gilbert Santa Maria said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

The carrier is stepping up cargo operations and flying to new destinations, particularly to the Pacific region, to generate revenue, Santa Maria said.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that the carrier could return at least two Airbus SE A350s to lessors and four of the 10 Boeing Co. 777s in its fleet, citing some people familiar with the plan.

The airline is managing liquidity and "trying to continue to get the forbearance from our lessors on the payments on the aircraft,” Santa Maria told CNN Philippines.

The carrier would join dozens of airlines and other aviation businesses, including Latam Airlines Group SA and lessor AeroCentury Corp., in being felled or forced to restructure after global travel was decimated by the pandemic.

The tourism industry accounted for nearly 13% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product in 2019 and employed 13.5% of its labor force.

Then Covid-19 came, and international arrivals slumped 82% last year to less than 1.5 million. - Bloomberg
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